in·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce independence (audio) \

Definition of independence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the quality or state of being independent
2 archaic : competence sense 2


geographical name
In·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce Independence (audio) \

Definition of Independence (Entry 2 of 2)

city in western Missouri east of Kansas City population 116,830

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Synonyms & Antonyms for independence

Synonyms: Noun

self-dependence, self-reliance, self-subsistence, self-sufficiency, self-support

Antonyms: Noun

dependence (also dependance), reliance

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Examples of independence in a Sentence


She asserted her independence from her parents by getting her own apartment. He has shown a fierce independence of spirit. A month after independence, elections were held.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The scale of her business, and her insistence on its independence, limited her profits, and Toledo never bought the ads that media outlets reward with editorial exposure. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, "Remembering Isabel Toledo, a Designer with Few Peers," 4 Sep. 2019 Prosecutors asserted that Craig did not want to register because disclosure of his work with Ukraine could cast doubt on his and Skadden's independence and impede his and colleagues' ability to quickly return to government service. Anchorage Daily News, "High-powered Democratic lawyer found not guilty of lying to investigators about work for Ukraine government," 4 Sep. 2019 But the central bank's intervention reignites questions about its independence and whether it could be forced to focus on boosting the government's growth credentials rather than the long term health of India's economy. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "India is trying to stave off an economic crisis. But it needs to do a lot more," 29 Aug. 2019 Enrollment at the school, which officially gained its independence as a four-year university in 2009, has topped 4,100 across its undergraduate and graduate programs for the first time. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "‘It allows us to dream big:’ The fastest-growing college in Texas fills a gap by focusing on homegrown students," 26 Aug. 2019 Not as a symbol of my independence or anything, but, um, just because to look at it. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My Catbird Stacking Rings," 21 Aug. 2019 The controversial move to strip Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only majority Muslim state, of its historical independence from India set off a bitter debate within the country and attracted international concern. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz India, "A British journal has upset a lot of Indians by weighing in on Kashmir," 19 Aug. 2019 In the private, women-only areas of malls, parks, restaurants, schools and coffee shops, women feel free to express their independence. Alainna Liloia, The Conversation, "Saudi women are fighting for their freedom – and their hard-won victories are growing," 8 Aug. 2019 The British colonized the island in 1815, ruling until Malta gained its independence in 1964. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "For Sale in Malta: A Path to EU Citizenship," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'independence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of independence


1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for independence

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for independence

The first known use of independence was in 1640

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English Language Learners Definition of independence

: freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent
: the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control


in·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dəns How to pronounce independence (audio) \

Kids Definition of independence

: the quality or state of not being under the control of, reliant on, or connected with someone or something else

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Comments on independence

What made you want to look up independence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


readily or continually undergoing change

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